Canals to be Fully Opened Next Week

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The state’s Canal System has been partially reopened and is expected to fully open its doors next week, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

The canals — which include the historic Eric Canal — saw their water levels reduced prior to Hurricane Sandy as a step to mitigate damage to the system.

As it turned out, the bulk of the storm hit downstate while much of upstate escaped unscathed. It was a change from tropical storms Lee and Irene, which caused about $114 million in damage to the canals last year.

The canals will follow a ramp-up schedule before they are fully reopened Monday. Here’s the schedule, which Cuomo’s office says is subject to change based on weather:

Wednesday, October 31
· Stabilize levels on Cayuga, Seneca, and Oneida Lake
· Raise guard gates along Canal System
· Open Oswego, Champlain, Cayuga-Seneca Canals and Erie Canal between St. Johnsville and Tonawanda to all navigation
· Begin lowering uprights and lower gates at Locks 13 (Yosts), 14 (Canajoharie) & 15 (Fort Plain)

Thursday, November 1
· Begin lowering uprights and lower gates at Locks 8 (Scotia), 9 (Rotterdam Junction), 11 (Amsterdam) & 12 (Tribes Hill)

Friday, November 2
· Begin lowering uprights and lower gates at Lock 10 (Cranesville)
· Begin lowering upper gates where possible at multiple lock locations

Saturday, November 3
· Continue to lower gates to build navigation pool on Mohawk River levels

Sunday, November 4
· Continue to build navigation pool on Mohawk River levels
· Check buoys to ensure they are in proper position, reposition if necessary
· Clear debris as necessary

Monday, November 5
· Re-open remainder of the Erie Canal, from Lock 16 to Lock 8

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